Just after John Scott (John Wayne) gets his rodeo prize money, the Official is robbed and murdered by Pete (Al Ferguson).
Pete then says he just saw John and his friend Kansas Charlie (Eddy Chandler) leaving the office.
The two fugitives flee to another town where they assume new names.
But Pete arrives to point them out and they find themselves in jail.
July 7, 2011 Subject:
Most of these early John Wayne westerns produced by Paul Malvern were a cut above the usual B western of the time, with a little extra imaginative writing to offset all the tired old B-western tropes. This one let me down.
My main annoyance was the way that Wayne's and Chandler's characters constantly fought and squabbled over the women, and just about everything else. They had a running gag going where Chandler would take a swing, Wayne would duck, and Chandler would wind up busting his fist against a wall or something. Then Wayne would stomp Chandler's foot with a boot heel. Some people might find this nonsense to be funny; to me, it was just irritating.
Pete, one of the bad guys, has an amazing amount of credibility—people just seem to believe whatever he tells them, never checking any of it out for themselves. We find here one of the oldest, most tired, and most common tropes to be seen in these sorts of films: law enforcement is dumber than rocks, never investigates anything for themselves, and takes the word of whoever manages to get to them first with a tall tale. That leads to the most common plot line: the wrong people get accused and have to struggle to clear themselves, which usually doesn't happen until one of the bad guys confesses.
During some of the chase scenes (particularly the last one), the shooters seem never to run out of bullets. (It doesn't even require all ten fingers to count six shots in a six-shooter.) At the final shootout, the sheriff and his posse can't manage to hit Wayne even though he's standing in plain view at the window from which he is shooting.
The writers ask for so much Suspension of Disbelief, this comes near to being a wall banger. It would take a pretty young kid, even in 1935, to buy into it. An extra star for the performances, though, which are mostly up to the usual standards for Wayne & Co.